Early gift costs Leicester at Old Trafford

Manchester United 2:1 Leicester City

1819 man united away

An early penalty presented United with a 3rd minute lead as City lost 2-1 at Old Trafford on Friday night in the Premier League’s opening game..

Claude Puel started with Maguire, but his England team-mate only had a place on the bench, with Iheanacho up front. Possibly the biggest surprise was Amartey at right back with Ricardo right midfield.
And it was Amartey who gifted United the lead soon after kick off. A Sanchez shot was blocked by Morgan, and as the deflection went past Amartey he needlessly stuck out an arm. Pogba did a comedy run-up to the penalty spot before lashing the ball into the top right hand corner, giving Schmeichel no chance even though he guessed right.
However, after this rocky start to the season City settled into a passing rhythm that saw them dominating possession for much of the first half.
Maddison delivered a good free-kick into the area, which Pogba cleared, Ndidi fired a low long-range effort straight at de Gea and then Iheanacho sent an angled shot narrowly wide, but was marginally offside.
In the 28th minute Maddison was denied a debut goal when de Gea brilliantly saved his angled half-volley from 12 yards. Soon after Ricardo’s 30-yarder struck Pogba and looped up over the bar. Gray then sent Iheanacho in on goal, but he couldn’t quite shake off the attentions of Lindelof who snubbed the chance out.
Only late in the half did Schmeichel have anything to do, making comfortable saves from Pogba and Shaw.
After that early set-back City had controlled the game, without finding that cutting edge needed to get past de Gea.

The second half was more even, though there were few chances at either end.    Schmeichel fielded a Darmian shot at the second attempt and de Gea had to palm away a Chilwell cross. But a change was needed, and Puel made a double substitution in the 63rd minute, bringing Vardy and Ghezzal on for Amartey and Maddision.
Mata had a shot deflected wide by Morgan’s arm and was furious to see a goal kick awarded.
City had a great chance in the 76th minute when Vardy’s persistence saw him rob Shaw of the ball on the byline, before delivering a low cross to the near-post. Although Gray got a foot to it, de Gea made another fine save to deny City again.
Two minutes later substitute Lukaku had the goal at his mercy 10 yards out, but Schmeichel advanced swiftly and blocked the shot with his legs.
With ten minutes remaining Puel brought Silva on for Iborra as City chased the game, but it was soon out of their reach.
In the 83rd minute Shaw ran into a yawning space on the left side of the penalty area. His first touch was poor but lucky and it took him round Ricardo, before he jabbed the ball across Schmeichel and into the net.
City pressed forward in the closing stages, but Vardy misconnected with a volley sending it way over the bar.
He did start the season with a goal, however, as the game went into time-added-on.
A Ricardo cross from the right evaded everyone in the area and struck the left hand post, where Vardy was rewarded for following it up and nodded home from a yard out.
A late corner, which Schmeichel came up for, caused some late tension, but it was headed wide and City had kicked off 2018-19 with a defeat.

It had been an encouraging display by City, but for two weak moments in defence not enough presence up front, and Claude Puel was happy enough:  “The first half with all the chances we could have, we have to perform and to score and to come back into the game. We didn’t find the good clinical edge in this moment but it was a very good first half, good intensity in the play, good pressing, good quality and I was happy about the performance.”

United: De Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Lindelöf, Shaw, Fred (McTominay 76), Pereira, Pogba (Fellaini 84), Mata, Rashford, (Lukaku 67), Sánchez.
Substitutes: Martial, Smalling, Grant, Young.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey (Ghezzal 63), Morgan, Maguire, Chilwell, Adrien Silva (Iborra 80), Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira, Maddison (Vardy 63), Gray, Iheanacho.
Substitutes: Evans, Albrighton, WardFuchs.

Referee: Andre Marriner. Attendance: 74,439.

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Leicester off to a winning start at Meadow Lane

Notts County 1:4 Leicester City

Notts County v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly

After going a goal down, City overhauled neighbours Notts County to win 4-1 at Meadow Lane on Saturday.

With the World Cup players still on holiday, and Albrighton and Simpson injured, there were plenty of under-23 players on show, as well as new signings Maddison and Evans.

County got off to a lively start and in the third minute Vaughan sent a long-range effort thumping into the right hand post with Jakupovic beaten.
The Magpies then took a 20th minute lead when a long ball caught out City’s defence and  Stead crossed from the right to Alessandra, who had his first shot well saved by Jakupovic but netted the rebound.

Notts County v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly

City then gained control of the game and Morgan equalised in the 26th minute with a far post finish after Johnson had nodded on from a corner.
The visitors went ahead two minutes later when Choudhury was given space on the edge of the area to line up a neat finish into the bottom corner.
Just before the break, the impressive Johnson blocked efforts from Stead and Alessandra to preserve City’s lead.
Iborra, Chilwell and King were introduced for the second half and City went further ahead in the 52nd minute. Gray charged down the left, before cutting in and sending a shot across Pindroch and into the far corner.

Notts County v Leicester City - Pre-Season Friendly

Claude Puel then made six changes in the 62nd minute and two of the subs combined to make it 4-1 – Ulloa setting up Slimani for a volleyed finish.

Although it was an exercise in game time, this performance showed some depth to Claude Puel’s squad, with some impressive outings from some of the youngsters and promising display from Maddison.

Notts County: Pindroch, Tootle, Jones, Hewitt, Duffy, Hall, Alessandra, Vaughan, Stead, Thomas, Boldewijn.
Leicester: Jakupović, Johnson, Morgan, (Knight 62), Evans (Amartey 62), Fuchs (Chilwell 46), Mendy (Iborra 46), Choudhury (King 46), Elder (Ndukwu 62), Gray (Ulloa 62), Diabaté (Slimani 62), Maddison (Kapustka 62). Subs not used: Bramley.

Referee: Thomas Brameld. Attendance: 7,277. 


 

Can’t Buy That Feeling – Inside Leicester City – The Best of The Fox Interviews

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We have finally got round to compiling all our interviews into one book and it is available now from Conker Editions Ltd HERE
and Amazon HERE

The FOX has been interviewing Leicester City players, managers, famous fans and board members for almost three decades, building up a body of work that takes you right into the very fabric of the club, with memories spanning the last 60 years.

As a City fan, you’ve come to know hundreds of players through their performance on the pitch, through potted career biographies and football sticker images. But what about the real characters behind the blue shirt and the back-page reports?

Can’t Buy That Feeling takes you inside Leicester City from the perspective of those who were there – behind the scenes at the long-running soap opera packed with comedy and tragedy, triumph and disaster, financial ruin and amazing title wins.

 

 

 

 

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Leicester kick off 2018-19 at Old Trafford

City’s season gets off to a tough start at Manchester United, and newly-promoted Wolves are the first visitors to the King Power. The nearest thing we have to a local derby. 

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City host Liverpool on September 1st, and are at home to Manchester City on Boxing Day.
The popular Brighton trip is, sadly, November 24th.
The first game of 2019 takes City to Everton, and there is a tough looking end to the season with Arsenal at home, Man City away and Chelsea at the KPS.

Full list HERE.

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Get your name in ‘Can’t Buy That Feeling – The Best of The Fox Interviews’…

Can’t Buy That Feeling – Inside Leicester City – The Best of The Fox Interviews

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We have finally got round to compiling all our interviews into one book and you can subscribe to it now at Conker Editions Ltd.

A subscribers’ copy of Can’t Buy That Feeling – Inside Leicester City includes three special features:
— Your name will appear in a subscribers’ roll of honour inside the book. (Or you could add the name of the City fan in your life, a great gift idea!)
— Your copy of the book will be signed (and, if you wish, personally dedicated) by the authors
— And you’ll receive your copy before the official publication date in August

The FOX has been interviewing Leicester City players, managers, famous fans and board members for almost three decades, building up a body of work that takes you right into the very fabric of the club, with memories spanning the last 60 years.

As a City fan, you’ve come to know hundreds of players through their performance on the pitch, through potted career biographies and football sticker images. But what about the real characters behind the blue shirt and the back-page reports?

Can’t Buy That Feeling takes you inside LCFC from the perspective of those who were there – behind the scenes at the long-running soap opera packed with moments of comedy and tragedy, triumph and disaster, silverware and financial ruin.

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Read the best of The Fox interviews and you will discover:

o How it feels to score a last-minute winner at Wembley
o Who bore the brunt of Stan Collymore’s fire extinguisher
o How it feels to be a World Cup winner, and axed by Leicester City
o Which City star was run out of his local for moving to Leicester
o The identity of the City player who chased half the Chelsea team down the tunnel
o Players’ big-match memories, their real opinions of their bosses, team-mates and fans…

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Spurs edge Leicester out in Wembley goal feast

Tottenham Hotspur 5:4 Leicester City

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City ended the season with defeat against Tottenham in a hugely entertaining nine-goal thriller at Wembley…

Claude Puel made two changes for his final starting XI of the season, with Gray and Iborra in for Diabate and Choudhury.
From early on this game had an end-of-term feel about it, and the goals soon started to fly in.
City took a fourth minute lead. Gray was fouled by Walker-Peters down the left, Mahrez swung the free-kick in, and Vardy’s delicate nod steered the ball beyond Lloris and into the far corner.
However, while the City fans were still celebrating, Tottenham were back on level terms. An attempted pass from Simpson struck Lucas and rebounded into the path of Kane, who charged up-field and beat Jakupovic low to his right.
Spurs had a good attacking spell following their goal: Eriksen sent a shot straight at Jakupovic, and then Simpson did well with a clearing header from a dangerous cross.
But it was City who next troubled the scoreboard. After winning the ball in midfield Mahrez found Iheanacho, who played a short ball to Silva, who nudged the ball onto Vardy. Vardy was blocked as he attempted to pull the trigger, but Mahrez was following up to blast the loose ball home.

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City should have gone further ahead in the 25th minute. A sweeping upfield move involving Gray, Iheanacho and Vardy saw Gray in on goal, but his shot lacked venom and Lloris pulled off a fine save.
City then caused Spurs problems with a couple of corners, but Maguire couldn’t find the right touch at the far post.
Spurs had another good spell up to the break and Maguire put in a couple of vital challenges to deny Kane and then Sissoko, ensuring City went in at half time with the lead.

Just two minutes into the second half City extended their lead with a superb effort.
Iheanacho picked up a loose ball in midfield and shrugged off the challenge of Wanyama, before launching a rocket into the top right hand corner.

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Sadly, City never got a chance to sit on the two goal lead, as Spurs hit back two minutes later. An intricate Spurs passing move through City’s defence provided a tap-in for Lamela, who looked offside, but the linesman was deaf to Leicester’s appeals.
Four minutes later Spurs levelled the game with a slice of fortune.
Lamela’s shot from close in was heading wide after a deflection off Maguire, but it then hit Fuchs’ knee and found the net.
At the other end, Maguire hit a shot narrowly wide, before Tottenham took the the lead for the first time on the hour.
It was another gift. Gray chested the ball down into the path of  Walker-Peters, who crossed for Lamela, all on his own and he beat Jakupovic from 6 yards.
City rallied themselves after conceding three goals in 11 minutes.
After some good work down the right, Mahrez teed up Iheanacho whose hard and low shot forced a fine save from Lloris.
City then drew level in the 73rd minute. After a wrestling match in City’s area between Morgan and Kane, the ref waved play on and Jakupovic set the counter-attack in motion. City raced upfield, Man City style, and Mahrez threaded a ball through the defence for Vardy who smashed his 20th league goal of the season in the roof of the net from an acute angle.

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But again, the City corner didn’t have long to celebrate as Tottenham came back with the winner three minutes later. Choudhury bought a Kane dummy hook, line and sinker on the edge of the area, allowing the England striker time to line up a shot into the top right hand corner.
City had one more chance to equalise, but Vardy lashed an effort over the bar, and the season ended as it had started, with a high scoring defeat in North London.
It was a strange feeling to come away from Wembley feeling disapointed but entertained, as opposed to the usual triumph or despair.

2017-18 was a funny old season, ninth place and two cup quarter-finals beats just about every campaign in the club’s history, but a sense of an opportunity missed pervades.
Big changes may be coming this summer and we are all hoping that the club’s owners can make decisions to match their ambitions.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker-Peters, Alderweireld, Dier, Rose, Sissoko (Son Heung-min 84), Wanyama, Lamela (Sánchez 78), Eriksen, Lucas Moura (Alli 74), Kane.
Substitutes: Vorm, Llorente, Foyth, Davies.
Leicester: Jakupovic, Simpson (Choudhury 56), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Silva, Iborra, Mahrez, Iheanacho (Barnes 85), Gray (Diabaté 61), Vardy.
Substitutes: Hamer, Benalouane, Ndukwu, Hughes.

Referee: C Pawson. Attendance: 77,841.

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Leicester break Arsenal jinx with end of season show

Leicester City 3:1 Arsenal 

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

City produced a fine performance in the final home game of the season, with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal…

With City looking for their first league win over Arsenal since 1994, Claude Puel made three changes to his starting line-up with Jakupovic, Simpson and Iheanacho in for  Hamer, Benalouane and Iborra.
Before the game we said farewell to Robert Huth, who is not having his contract renewed after a season out with injury. His immense contribution to the Great Escape and the Premier League title will never be forgotten.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

After six home games without a win, expectations weren’t high for this game and Arsenal (without an away win in 2018) controlled the opening stage with some neat passing moves. Mkhitaryan got in an early shot straight at Jakupovic, but the keeper was given a more severe test by Iwobi in the 6th minute when he got down to tip a toe-poked effort round the post.
City broke upfield in the 10th minute when great work from Choudhury, set up Iheanacho, who neatly side-stepped his marker but then lost his footing.
Two minutes later City broke away again and Silva sent Vardy through, but his shot was well saved by Cech.
City then delighted the home crowd who had a goal to celebrate at long last.
In the 14th minute. After a spell of pressure, Fuchs launched a cross beyond the far post, Diabaté sent a neat header back into the area and Iheanacho delivered a measured left-footer through a crowd of defenders and past Cech.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

The KPS was instantly revived and a minute later City were nearly through again. Iheanacho was in on goal when Mavropanos brought him down, and was judged to be the last man, leaving Arsenal with 10 men for 75 minutes.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Mahrez curled the resulting free-kick in and Maguire attempted a side-foot finish from close range, but Cech tipped it over the bar.
City were rampant now and Iheanacho fired a shot from the edge of the area, but Cech came to the Gunners rescue again.
Diabaté then made good progress down the left before whipping in a cross that was a couple of inches away from Vardy’s boot.
With City in control of the game Arsenal had a rare attack in the 35th minute when Jakupovic produced a fine save to guide a Mkhitaryan shot round the base of the post. Along with some excellent distribution, the keeper was having a fine Premier League debut for City.
In the 38th minute Silva curved a low free-kick round the wall, but Cech tipped it away at full stretch. City broke forward again, but Iheanacho’s angled drive saw the over-worked Cech saving again.
The half-time joy that City had played so well was temepered by the fact that they hadn’t scored more goals from so many chances. And Arsenal came out for the second half in more determined mood.

Two minutes into the second half Kolasinac found space down the left but his shot from an acute angle thumped against the post.
City were soon pouring forward again. A good run from Mahrez set up Vardy, but the offside flag denied City a second goal.
Diabaté then raced into space down the left, but his shot had the sting taken out of it by Cech’s block, allowing for an easy goal line clearance.
For all City’s chances, it was Arsenal who got the next goal in the 53rd minute.
Aubameyang’s well struck volley was brilliantly saved by Jakupovic from close range, but he had no chance when Aubameyang followed up to lash the ball into the roof of the net.
A now open game was end-to-end for a while. Diabaté fired a shot over the bar, and Fuchs also went close, before Mkhitaryan blasted an effort just over the angle of post and bar.
Claude Puel made his first change in the 72nd minute, bringing Gray on for Diabaté, and it soon reaped its reward.
Gray beat his man down the right and sent in a low cross which was cleared straight back to him, but as he took possession Mkhitaryan caught him from behind and the ref pointed to the spot amid furious protests.
Vardy sent Cech the wrong way, smashing it left to regain City’s lead.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Simpson had to limp out of the action in the 82nd minute, replaced by Dragovic, as City attempted to see the game out. But there was one more moment of magic to come.
A superb ball from Choudhury capped a brilliant night’s work for him and sent Mahrez down the right. In what will surely be his last home appearance for City he sent his marker into the car park with a swift change of direction before guiding the ball round the grounded Cech for another wonderful finish.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Five minutes of time-added-on passed without drama and City’s home schedule finished on a very high note after months of disappointment.
In contrast to Saturday, a large majority of the crowd stayed on to applaud the side off the pitch for what had been a great effort.
There was even a chant for Arsène Wenger, who had lost to Leicester for the first time in his long Arsenal career.
9th place was secured and we were left thinking that it hadn’t been too bad a season after all.

Leicester: Jakupovic, Simpson (Dragovic 82), Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Choudhury, Silva, Diabaté (Gray 72), Vardy, Iheanacho (Barnes 88).
Substitutes: Hamer, Iborra, Benalouane, Thomas.
Arsenal: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Mavropanos, Kolasinac, Iwobi (Nketia 84), Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Welbeck (Mustafi 19).
Substitutes: Mertesacker, Ospina, Nelson, Osei-Tutu, Willock.
Referee: G Scott. Attendance: 32,095.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber. 

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Another horror show for Leicester as West Ham reach safety

Leicester City 0:2 West Ham United

1718 west ham home c

Two years after City’s triumphant lifting of the Premier League trophy, only a few hundred fans stayed behind to witness the ‘lap of appreciation’ at the King Power following another dire performance that saw a 2-0 defeat against West Ham…

With a growing list of injuries, and Albrighton’s suspension, Claude Puel made five changes to his side. Benalouane was drafted in at right back, Fuchs returned at left back and Iborra made an unexpected return from injury.
But from very early in the game it was clear that City would not be bouncing back from that 5-0 defeat at Palace. West Ham, still needing point for survival, looked far the more purposeful side, while City didn’t appear to have a game plan beyond sideways passes.

1718 west ham home d

In the 6th minute a poor clearance from Hamer set West Ham up with a chance, but Benalouane intercepted the danger.
Then Morgan skied a clearance and the defence were slow to react, Lanzini having a shot deflected wide.
After West Ham’s early spell of pressure, the game consisted of sideways passing from City with no end product and the crowd’s frustration began to grow.
On the half hour Lanzini sent Arnautovic in on the left but Hamer got his angles right to block the shot. Arnautovic then hit the bar with a half volley, but it was only a temporary reprieve. In the next attack Arnautovic reached a cross at the far post and hooked the ball across goal to set up Joao Mario for a 6 yard finish.
City’s first real chance arrived in the 38th minute when Diabaté sent a shot wide of the right hand post.
Lanzini then lashed a shot into the side-netting from a tight angle.
The half time whistle brought a chorus of boos…

Claude Puel made a change at the break, bringing Dragovic on for Iborra and pushing Maguire forward into midfield for the second game running.
The 49th minute brought controversy when Vardy and Cresswell were in a race down the right. Cresswell went to gorund as they collided and grabbed the ball just outside the area to prevent Vardy from being clear on goal. Although he was the last man he only saw a yellow card.

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West Ham broke upfield and Arnautovic lined up a shot but was blocked by a great recovery from Choudhury.
With City still struggling to create anything in West Ham’s half Puel made a double change in the 61st minute, bringing on Iheanacho and Gray for Choudhury and Diabate.
With two of City’s better performers on the day being withdrawn a chant of “You don’t know what you’re doing!” rang around the ground.
Three minutes later West Ham sealed victory with a stunning goal.
A free kick from the right was headed clear but sat up nicely for Noble, who arrowed a beautifully struck 25 yard volley past Hamer.
Arnautovic then wriggled through several challenges before Maguire got a block on his shot.
In the 75th minute Gray broke down the left but could only deliver a tame cross into the arms of Adrián.
Home fans were beginning to stream towards the exits with ten minutes remaining as the only piece of entertainment came when a pitch invader tried to give the stewards the runaround but couldn’t keep his footing.
City’s first shot on target came from Silva in the 86th minute, though it went straight at Adrián. It brought forth loudly sarcastic applause from the fans that remained.

There followed the forlorn sight of the annual ‘lap of appreciation’, by which time there were little more than a thousand fans left in the stadium. If the owners were in any doubt of the feelings towards Claude Puel’s management it was spelt out loud and clear.

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Two wins in 12 games saw City at the bottom of the form table, with Puel seemingly incapable of reversing the dramatic slide.

Leicester: Hamer, Benalouane, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Choudhury (Iheanacho 61), Iborra (Dragovic 45), Diabaté (Gray 61), Silva, Vardy.
Substitutes: Jakupovic, Thomas, Barnes, Hughes.
West Ham: Adrián, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Kouyaté, Noble, Masuaku (Evra 90), João Mário, Lanzini (Carroll 75), Arnautovic (Fernandes 79).
Substitutes: Hugill, Obiang, Cullen, Trott.
Referee: C Kavanagh. Attendance: 32,013.

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